I know I hypothsised about a vampire concept for Sunmi when she released the first teaser images over twitter to announce her comeback; but I didn’t actually expect JYP Entertainment to go through with it! Our readers had suggested so many different and more interesting possibilities — from werevolves, to gumihos, to legs — but no, we are back to pretty little bloodsuckers straight out of Twilight. God, this vampire thing is hard to kill.

But even if Sunmi is late to the vampire party, at least she arrives in style — and I’m not just talking about her sparkly manipedi.


I was surprised to hear that Brave Sound had produced “Full Moon:” after all, we’ve heard about JYP’s insistence on having his songs be the title tracks for JYP nation releases. So to see JYPE reach out to an outside producer who is not an outsider to K-pop itself is refreshing, and something that the other Big Three companies, YG and SM, could also consider.

20140218_seoulbeats_fullmoon_lena3Another surprise is JYP trainee Lena, who can safely be assumed to be a rapper in the company’s upcoming girl group. She appears as a hyperactive vampire and takes up most of the second verse with her rap, which, while not excellent, is serviceable; at the very least, it provides a change in pace without throwing off the songs flow. I’m sure Lena will be present at live performances, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for Yubin or Jia (especially Jia) to make an appearance at some point.

As for the rest of the song: it has that signature Brave Brothers vibe, but more polished. The instrumentation makes use of guitar, piano and percussion to create a sensual feel with the saxophone in the chorus kicking things up a notch. But the hero of the song is Sunmi — her voice is fantastic here, even more so than in “24 Hours.” It could be the range she’s singing in and/or it could also be attributed to the backing vocals, but Sunmi’s voice sounds fuller and more melodic in “Full Moon.” The bridge has to be my favourite part of the song: Sunmi hits all the right notes. I’m only sad that the bridge wasn’t longer. And of course, the “eh eh eh eh eh” hook is going to get stuck in your head fast.

Moving on to the MV proper, we have a young man transforming into a vampire after being bitten. Her wait and longing as he transforms is expressed in the lyrics: “On the night of the full moon, come to see me/before the night ends, before sunrise, please hurry.” Although the full moon may be needed for the transformation to occur, its presence seems to be more important to Sunmi. She treats the moon as a confidante, sharing with it her secret love and desire for the man, which has driven her to transform him.

Female vampires are often protrayed as succubi, but Sunmi’s desire is humanised by her loneliness and wish for a companion. This places her motivations and actions in a more sympathetic light, especially with the flashback showing a prior encounter. It implies that Sunmi has been waiting for the boy in the wheelchair to grow up before turning him. While the revelation of the boy’s disability is meant to further endear us to Sunmi’s actions, I still found it creepy how a supposedly selfless reason was given for what is an ultimately selfish act. We don’t see Sunmi seeking the man’s consent at any point before turning him; and from his initial shocked reaction and fear after that, I don’t think he was quite expecting this to happen, either. Ultimately, the man’s disability didn’t add anything meaningful to the plot; it was just for shock value.

20140218_seoulbeats_sunmi_fullmoon3Speaking of which, the choreography is certain to have tongues wagging, in more ways than one. It’s a lovely dance overall, but anything I have to say about the certain moves has already likely been covered on Seoulbeats by my fellow writers: that the dance is very forward in its sexiness, MOGEF and the broadcast channels will most likely demand changes to the choreography, and I will be left wondering how Sunmi herself feels about it. So instead, I just decided to have fun and give some of the moves my own names, like:

  • “Visit your gyno twice a year! But first, look at my legs.”
  • “Oops, spilt water blood on my dress.”
  • “MY couch, go find your own.”
  • And the move most likely to be banned, “Panning for golD.”

20140218_seoulbeats_sunmi_fullmoon5Props are something K-pop does pretty well, and the antique lounge is a very pretty prop; though, it does not look like the most comfortable couch to drape oneself over. I’m also incredibly worried about Sunmi possibly stubbing her toe on it. Sunmi’s had problems with her feet for years: she even performed “Nobody” in runners while the rest of the Wonder Girls wore high heels. Performing barefoot, though, has now become a part of her style as well. As someone trained in a dance form that mandates bare feet, I am loving Sunmi’s lack of footwear; as long as someone sweeps the floor before she performs and she’s wearing something on her feet at the end of the show for the winner announcements, I assure you she’ll be fine. The hard surfaces on the lounge, however, are dangerous to naked toes, so I hope Sunmi’s careful when she’s climbing all over it, or that they at least change that part of the choreography.

Overall, this MV is a treat to watch: the vampire concept is executed well and visuals are effective in their simplicity. For “Full Moon,” I’m giving the song and MV both a 3.8 out of 5.

Readers, what are your thoughts on Sunmi’s latest MV? Do you have your own names for moves in this dance?

(JYP Entertainment, YouTube)